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Speak English? Cultures and Education

  • View author's info Posted on Nov 25, 2006 at 09:36 PM

    My question is whether or not individuals who come and live in the United States should as a courtesy and simply out of respect as an american citizen always speak english instead of their native language regardless where they are at.

    Your opinions?
  • 9Comments

  • View author's info Posted on Mar 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    I agree with you 100% but keep in mind that the English language is very difficult and it may take people year to grasp it IF they even do. I do how ever think that they should at least try to speak the language so that most of us don't feel out of place in our own country. I was born in the USA but moved south of the boarder until I was about 9 and when we returned my dad wouldn't let us watch TV in Spanish because he wanted us to learn the language so we wouldn't have to struggle! Mind you he lived here since the early 70's and interacted with US Citizens everyday all day and he still has a hard time speaking it...but his friends understand and accept him (I am glad they do cause I have a hard time understanding him sometimes :) )
    Also, regarding the Insurance's not their fault they try but the government won't let them! if they let them get their driver license they would have to buy insurance. But we will be opening a huge can of worms here so I will just leave it at that
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 23, 2006 at 11:32 AM

    Yes, I believe they should. If they are immigrating to the country of their choice, they should embrace the culture and the language. Totally agreed there.

    I came to the States when I was 5, so learning English had no bearing on me.
    However, I have more sympathy for those immigrants who have tried their best and are still trying, but will never be fluent. These are generally those individuals that immigrate well into their 50's. (Keep in mind...for some it takes SO long to even get the visa's to come here in the first place.)

    My aunt, who is almost 80, has lived in the states for about 15 years. She's lived in many diff't countries and can speak some English, some Dutch, some Chinese, some western African tribal dialects (don't know the names...but in cousin [her son] was a missionary in Ghana and Ivory Coast for almost 15 years), fluent Japanese, and fluent Korean. She never came to the States expecting to only speak in those languages. It makes me laugh b/c sometimes she'll say..."Pass the bread, please" attempting English...and she's actually speaking Dutch. And, all of us are giving her blank stares. lol

    She has ALWAYS wanted to be fluent in English...and...chuckling (i think this is so incredibly sweet)...she has been taking English classes for almost 15 years!!! Actually, more than that, b/c she was taking English classes even before she immigrated here. My uncle (her husband), on the other hand, came to the States to get his 2nd PhD in the early 70's. He is fluent in English and has a very diverse strong vocabulary.

    Both of them have made many many efforts, but some ppl just have a harder time learning a new language after a certain age. Seeing my aunt's struggles, even though the desire is totally there, I have a little more compassion.

    The non-English speaking immigrants that perturb me are the ones that simply don't try and don't want to. That makes me upset. Why bother coming here then? Just my thoughts.
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 15, 2006 at 06:04 AM

    oh and while we are on the subject can I get the new persons coming to America to purchase some car insurance? Please! As a common courtesy to your fellow Americans who share the roads with u and remember folks drive friendly.
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 15, 2006 at 05:55 AM

    Here is my view I think there are communities that cater to those who come to the United States and that they should be able to speak English since that is the Official Language while they are here but at the same time when they are with friends and loved ones who share the culture then speak native tongue. At least while in USA be able to read, write and obey traffic laws.
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 02, 2006 at 09:50 AM

    I don't think that they should always speak English, but I do think that they should be expected to speak English when they are in places where they have to interact with other English speaking individuals such as their job or school. I would even go as far as to say that they should be prepared to speak English even if they are going shopping or to a restaurant. How else are they going to know how to ask for what they want or how much things cost? I don't really see the lack of speaking English as a respect issue but more of a survival issue. Also, I find it very strange that someone has been in this country for a very long time and does not know English. Outside of a lack of the ability to learn such as a learning disability, I don't think that there is an excuse for it.
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 01, 2006 at 11:28 AM

    i do think those who come to live in the u.s. and have a different language should try and speak the language of their new homeland or at least try!!! i've seen parents with children who have actually graduated from college that still can't or won't speak english. it baffles the heck out of me. another thing i don't understand is why is it the school's job to teach non-english speaking children english, they learn and their parents won't learn for themselves. i often see 5 and 6 year olds having to translate and conduct sometimes important business for their parents because they know no english. wouldn't you be ashamed and do something about it? but i can't say anything, if you are a citizen, this is america and you have that right. i guess. i've gotten off my platform. hope i made sense.
  • View author's info Posted on Nov 28, 2006 at 07:21 AM

    Speak the languange of the culture!

    To people who speak the same language as your native, fine, but in general don't expect the culture you have invaded to conform to you. You change.

  • View author's info Posted on Nov 26, 2006 at 10:19 AM

    If I decided to relocate to some place where English wasn't the first language, I would still be English. I would still talk in English to English people ... and maybe even to Americans although theirs is a rather different version of the langauge, lol.

    However, I would make every effort to learn the native language because:

    a) I would want to be able to communicate
    b) I think it might help me be accepted
    c) It would help me get work
    d) I would know if they were talking about me
    e) It just seems like plain good manners!

    So on the strength of that (and with recognition that there are places in the world aside from America!) I do believe if someone settles in a different country, yes they should learn to communicate in the native language.

    It would be good if there was respect both ways for the different cultures rather than trying to bully someone into conforming totally with the native culture.
  • View author's info Posted on Nov 26, 2006 at 09:09 AM

    Absolutely. My grandparents/parents learned to speak the language. It's a melting pot- you have to melt!

    This sums it up best for me:

    ?In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. ...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and this is a loyalty to the American people,? said Theodore Roosevelt in 1907.